Hyundai Palisade: Aye, aye Cap’n

2022 Hyundai Palisade Highlander 4

What is it?

Hyundai Palisade is a large Korean-built SUV, or people mover to use the older definition for a vehicle in this class.

It has received major upgrades as well as substantial styling changes for the 2023 model year, so it’s worth taking a look at it again with a full road test.

A major feature in the Palisade is the Hyundai Bluelink system that you can connect to from anywhere via a smartphone.

Owners can send planned routes and receive emergency assistance automatically after an accident.

They can even remotely lock or start their car with their preferred climate settings, and therefore have their Palisade sitting waiting for them all warmed up and ready to go.

2022 Hyundai Palisade Highlander 5

What’s it cost?

Palisade is a large vehicle with styling that is in the look-at-me class – nothing subtle here.

Prices start from $65,900, but the Highlander with all the trimmings is priced from $79,990 plus on-road costs.

Styling changes for 2023 include a parametric shield grille design flanked by vertically stacked LED headlights.

The Highlander variant we reviewed has exclusive design touches, including a satin chrome finish to the grille with matching logo badge and skid plate finishes.

There are hidden-type turn signals, body-coloured cladding and exclusive 20-inch wheels with a 15-spoke turbine design.

A 12.3-inch touchscreen multimedia system is now standard on all Palisade models.

Features include wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, six USB-C and one USB-A port, Bluetooth message playback, embedded satellite navigation with live traffic updates, wireless smartphone charging and a voice memo function with up to 70 minutes recording time.

There’s also AM/FM and DAB+ digital radio although the latter cuts out when driving through cuttings or when there’s multiple trees in the centre island — or simply in country driving.

The 12-speaker Infinity audio system in our Palisade produced excellent sound quality and could be adjusted to suit our needs.

Hyundai Palisade has lap-sash safety belts for all occupants.

This isn’t as common as it should be because too many competitors have a lap-only belt in the centre-rear spot.

An expanded suite of SmartSense driver assistance and advanced active safety features are employed.

It now incorporates forward collision-avoidance assist with junction turning function, intelligent speed limit assist and a multi anti-collision braking system.

There’s a surround view monitor, a reverse light guide function as well as reverse parking collision-avoidance assist.

The latter is a real bonus when you’re reversing a large people mover out of a tight spot in a shopping centre.

It was also handy in the underground carpark in our apartment block where roof pillars and other vehicles are pretty close.

With Bluelink, the 2023 Palisade has automatic collision notification and SOS emergency call function.

There’s natural language server-based voice control and server-based connected routing navigation.

2022 Hyundai Palisade Highlander 8

What’s it go like?

The recently revised Hyundai Palisade is offered with a choice of a 3.8-litre petrol V6 with front-wheel drive, or 2.2-litre turbo diesel with all-wheel drive.

Both have a recently updated eight-speed automatic transmission.

Ours test vehicle was the turbo-diesel.

Hyundai Palisade can be optioned with either a seven-seat or eight-seat layout, the former offering two individual captain-type chairs in the middle row.

This was our test vehicle and it has a real feeling of luxury of the type normally only offered in a limousine.

Additional luxuries for Highlander variants include heated and ventilated front and second-row seats now for both seven- and eight-seat variants.

Highlander also gains exclusive interior finishes, quilted seat inserts, quilted and perforated door trim inserts, suede headlining and stainless-steel front speaker grilles, and door/cargo area scuff plates.

Every Highlander variant is available with Black Nappa leather with luxury quilting and Gloss Black/Pinstripe trim, with the further options of Warm Grey and Dark Khaki Nappa leather with unique wood-look trim dependent on the exterior colour.

Getting into the front and two middle-row seats is easy.

As you would expect, the rearmost seats are a bit of squeeze to get in and out of — but as that’s the area normally used by the littlies in your family there’s little hassle.

And the juniors are more than happy to be as far from mum and dad as possible.

Yet again I had problems seeing the information that’s displayed via head-up on the windscreen.

My polarising sunglasses could not see it unless I tilted my head slightly to one side or the other.

Obviously, I could look at the instruments in their normal position, but that’s a little less safe than having a view of the forward traffic and the dials at the same time.

Other car brands have solved this problem — it’s time Hyundai did.

Palisade is impressive in the way that it drives, all the more so when you remember this is a five-metre-long vehicle whose main aim in life is to carry up to eight people.

It’s certainly not sporty but you do feel that it wants to follow your directions through the steering wheel and throttle pedal.

There’s some bump and thump over the joints in the road but we have felt worse.

And some road roar on concrete surfaces, but on bitumen it’s nice and refined.

Fuel consumption was 9-11 litres per 100km around town, in the suburbs and on hilly and winding roads.

This dropped dramatically to just 5-7L/100km during easy paced driving on level roads and on 110 km/h motorways.

2022 Hyundai Palisade Highlander 1

What we like?

  • Standout styling
  • High quality interior
  • Remote access via app
  • Impressive to drive given its size
  • Good long distance fuel consumption

2022 Hyundai Palisade Highlander 9

What we don’t like?

  • Head-up display not sunglasses friendly
  • Digital radio drops out frequently
  • Some road roar on concrete surfaces
  • Bump and thump from road joints

2022 Hyundai Palisade Highlander 7

The bottom line?

Hyundai Palisade is a reasonably priced, high-quality people mover that’s does everything it’s intended to do with plenty of aplomb.

It’s significantly cheaper than upmarket European vehicles in the same class and certainly deserves a place on your short list of models to

2022 Hyundai Palisade Highlander 3


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Hyundai Palisade Highlander 2.2-litre diesel AWD, priced from $79,900
  • Looks - 9/10
  • Performance - 7/10
  • Safety - 9/10
  • Thirst - 8/10
  • Practicality - 9/10
  • Comfort - 8/10
  • Tech - 8/10
  • Value - 8/10

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